Dear family, friends and colleagues,
I hope this update finds you well.
The team continues to work hard at putting together our customer service demo program. We’re making great progress as we build and hone our collective skillsets across various areas including graphic design, animation, 3D gaming physics and game design.
The VR industry is moving quickly with new advancements and standards constantly changing. Today, I thought it would be worthwhile to note some major VR innovations that have occurred within the past couple of months. Each of these changes are breaking down the barriers that currently prevent VR becoming mainstream among businesses and consumers.
Tetherless adaptors: One of the largest annoyances for people currently using high quality VR are thick cables that run from the headset to a PC. These cables generally cause no disturbance to game play but can present a trip hazard for more lively VR experiences. Headset manufacturers such as HTC have been releasing details of headset adaptors that remove the need for tethering. (http://www.roadtovr.com/htc-intel-partner-new-wigig-wireless-vr-solution/)
This innovation will make VR use safer and more convenient.
Accessory tracker: HTC recently announced they will be selling a tracking device that attaches to accessories, which can then be used within VR experiences. Examples of the types of accessories that can now be used in VR the same as they would be ‘handled’ in the real world include bats, replica guns, fishing rods and fire hoses (among countless others). (http://www.roadtovr.com/htc-vive-tracker-makes-vr-more-immersive-with-specialized-accessories-hands-on/)
This advancement opens VR to a wider range of more realistic experiences that involve physical devices.
‘Inside-Out tracking’: This type of positional tracking of a VR user allows a computer to determine where an object is in space using only sensors mounted on a headset itself. A couple of new headset manufacturers are incorporating this innovation into their devices, which will remove the need for external cameras or infrared sensor towers that determine a player’s position. (http://www.roadtovr.com/qualcomms-new-mobile-tech-unlocks-impressive-inside-tracking/)
This innovation will make VR cheaper and more convenient by removing the need for external bulky sensors.
PC performance requirements: VR headset manufacturers, Oculus in particular, have had recent success in lowering the graphics card requirements to effectively run VR. Subsequently, the cost for a VR-ready PC using an Oculus Rift headset has dropped to approximately $800, as compared to the previous cost of around $1,500. (http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-ready-pc-costs-500-bundled-rift/)
This innovation is reducing the cost of VR and making the technology more affordable to consumers.
Mixed reality headsets: VR and its slightly younger sibling, augmented reality (AR), are at the early stages of being combined into single headsets, called ‘mixed reality’. Augmented reality is where real and virtual worlds meet and physical and digital objects co-exist. Headset manufacturer, Occipital, announced last month that they are producing a mixed reality headset for the iPhone 6 and 7. (https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/09/occipital-shows-off-a-399-mixed-reality-headset-for-iphone/)
This advancement will increase the breadth of use cases for immersive technologies going forward.
Global VR Association: Last month, the world’s largest VR companies including Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung and Sony, joined forces to create the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA). The GVRA aims to promote best practices for VR development, collaborate on technical challenges and educate people about VR. (https://www.gvra.com/)
This innovation gives the industry a sufficient level of collaboration to ensure VR has a strong supportive eco-system for developers and users.
All of the above innovations add significant value to VR users and all were introduced within the past couple of months. As the technology continues to become better, cheaper and more convenient, I believe Unleashed VR will be well positioned as mainstream adoption occurs.
As always, I’d love to hear if you have any comments, feedback or questions about Unleashed VR.